In a recent article, Increase Your Income with an Organized Marketing Plan, I talked about how to organize your daily marketing tasks so that you could be more efficient in your marketing, save time, and make more money.
There are additional ways that you can organize yourself so that your are more effective.
One major advantage of organizing your self is that you can save time. And as the old adage says, Time is money. If your information is scattered all over the place it is hard to find and you will waste time looking for it.
It is easy to join several programs, especially if you start joining traffic exchanges or safe lists. Keeping track of their information can be a real chore. Most of them will send you an email. You can print out the emails and file them. You can also save all the emails in a folder. While it is a good idea to do both of these, it will take time to look up the information later.
Create a file where you can store all of the information from the email in one place. This file could be made with a word processor, a spreadsheet, or a database program such as Access. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
With a word processor you have everything in one file that is easy to scan. However, you should alphabetize the entries as you enter them.
With a spreadsheet you can have one line per program and easily sort them by program name, program type, or date. Sometimes when you save a URL in a cell the cell looks strange.
A data base program takes a little longer to set up, but once done you have nice fields with labels for each piece of information.
Use whatever is best for you or what you are most familiar with. The point is to organize them for easy and speedy access. Store the file where you can get to it easy and fast.
For each program I suggest that you store at least the name of program, login URL, referral URL, your user name, your password, date you joined the program, type of program, and cost. You may also want to store your email address used for the program, program contact email, how you found the program (especially if u joined from a portal), and some notes on the program.
As you join programs you will have costs and income. Generally these costs are tax deductible and the income may have to be reported. Also, you will want to know if you are making or losing money. This is another thing to track.
Tracking expenses and income can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. A spreadsheet is one of the simplest ways. Set up columns for date, program name, cost amount, income amount, and source. The source would be PayPal, ClickBank, check, credit card, etc.
Once the spreadsheet is set up you can enter the information as it occurs of gather and enter it monthly.
More complicated ways to save your financial information is by using an accounting program. The advantage of an accounting program is you can get some very nice reports from them.
Your downloads can also become very hard to find after a while. It is easy to vaguely remember downloading an ebook last month and then spend a lot of time trying to find it on your computer.
A spreadsheet or database program will work great for storing this information. I store name of the ebook or software, whether it is an ebook or software, author, source (usually a url), path on my computer where the file is found and the name of the file, cost (if any), whether I have any rights, such as resell rights or giveaway rights, whether it is brandable, whether or not I have printed the book, and a brief description. You may also want a category field so that you can group related items.
These 3 lists, plus the daily task list mentioned in my previous article, are the main lists that I keep. If you would like a copy of the previous article send an email to email@example.com or visit http://www.the-home-business-center.com/articles.php.
You may have additional things to want to track.
How you organize your lists is up to you. There is no correct or incorrect way. There may be better and worse ways, however this is also dependent on what software you have and what you like to use best.
The point is, just organize. In the long run you will save yourself a tremendous amount of time and frustration. The Internet is huge, so dont get lost in it.
If you are just starting out this may seem like a waste of time to you. However, now is the best time to start. It is easiest to organize when you have only a little information to organize. Later you will be very thankful that you took the time to do it.
Be flexible. As time goes on you may discover that you want to change how you are organizing. Go ahead and make the change. Fine-tune it so that it works for you. The goal is to have the information that you want and need in one easy to use place when you want it.
Sometimes computer can be ornery. They can crash when you dont expect it and always at a very inconvenient time. So back up your files on a regular basis. Back them to a disk, a CD, your hosting service, some free web space, or whatever else you can. Backing up can save you the frustrating of having to start all over again if you have a system problem.
The Internet can be a fun and exciting place. It will be even more fun if you are organized. It can also be a profitable place. The less time you spend looking for information the more time you will have for your marketing efforts, which will mean more income for you.